Arizona Rocks to a new beat!


Granite 4 Hermit 6 img_20100928_183240 Upset 4


I always enjoy hearing from past guests I have served. If you’ve traveled with me, please let me know what you think. Every little bit helps me refine my style to increase guest enjoyment. The greatest reward I get from my job is hearing about how you feel. I want you to stop and smell the cactus flowers, and be in the moment with me in some of the most beautiful places on this planet. Thanks to all of you for making my life so wonderful!

Hi Joe,

The tour was excellent/amazing -I’ve visited the canyon 4x but felt like this was my 1st visit due to the exceptional service & info provided. Our family really enjoyed it, loved all the history & stories. My husband enjoyed all the geology info… Despite an injury/illness the our eldest son Will was trying to deal with he still had a great time. I would definitely recommend this tour – especially if you are the guide – EXCEPTIONAL!!!!

Thank you Kelly & Darryl (Winnipeg, Manitoba) 9/2/13

We cannot say enough about how wonderful this experience was. This is our first trip out West and we decided to use a tour guide to get the best experience of the Grand Canyon. What a great decision. This was a 12-hour day which covered the South Rim and the East Rim – we made several stops along the way and had plenty of time to see everything. Joe was an expert on the geology of the rock formations and the history of the Grand Canyon and Sedona. He was truly a “walking-talking encyclopedia”. This trip was not only fabulous for the views and the history but we saw so much more by going on this tour than we would have by striking out on our own. And just the stress of not having to drive on our own – after already having driven from Maine – was fabulous. We cannot thank Joe enough for the day and would recommend this trip to anyone wanting to see the Grand Canyon and learn about the history of the area.

John and Sheila (from Maine) 8/6/13

Hands down, this was the best thing that we’ve done on our trip to Sedona. We wondered what this tour would be like, and as soon as we were settled in the tour bus, Joe, our guide said that he is a geology geek and he hoped he didn’t talk too much! LOL! We knew it would be great – and it was…
The views, the Grand Canyon, the Navajo trading spots…all were beyond belief. Everything was enhanced because of the guide…and we weren’t the only ones who thought so. Joe added something to each stop in the canyon, filling in with geology and history. Often he talked to us using the markers, maps, and pictures posted at the locations, and we found ourselves mesmerized…and so did others! A crowd gathered each time he was talking – he was that interesting!
If you’re hesitating, don’t. This was a special trip for our 30th anniversary, and we’re so happy we took the tour.

Tom and Carla7/25/13

Best tour I’ve ever had thanks to your knowledge of geology and history of the area as well as the spectacular scenery to the bottom of the Grand Canyon! Thanks so much!!!

Ruth, Raytown, MO 5/15/12

Fabulous. Fascinating. The tour guide with the most knowledge ever!

Derek and Carolyn, Gloucester, UK  5/15/12

Joe, this has been a joyful day of discovery and awe. You are by far the best guide Larry and I have ever been with. We’re so happy that we were the chosen ones.

Kathy and Larry, Buckeye, AZ 5/14/12

This was the best tour ever because of all your knowledge!

Larry, Buckeye, AZ 5/14/12

Best tour ever!! Very informative, great fun!

Ralph and Cindi, Antioch, CA 5/14/12

We were so impressed with this tour – it turned out to be so much more than we ever expected. It was truly a trip we will never forget.

Lisa, 5/10/12

Excellent tour! The best guide we’ve ever had. Great time!!

Dewey and Mary, IL, 5/7/12

Second time on your tour. It gets better every time. Look forward to coming again with my grandson. Joe, you are an amazing man!

Betty, 5/1/12

Incredible knowledge both geological and cultural of northern Arizona. We have a much greater understanding of the area. Thank you!

Roy and Robbie, 4/25/12

So Great!! Very full of fun, facts, and food. We learned a lot and will remember it as a “blow out” tour.

John and Elaine, Baden, ONT, 4/23/12

Awesome – memorable trip. God bless you, Joe, for your wonderful ability, knowledge and energy. You are the best -you are very talented. We shall always remember Grand Canyon “Base”! Colorado River and Diamond Creek.

Charlie and Marianne, Johnson Creek, WI, 4/10/12

It was great to have a knowledgeable guide for sites we would not have found on our own. Best geological info and great Sedona stories – we will definitely ask for Joe next time we’re in town.

Amy and Steve, NY, NY, 4/5/12

Joe, thank you for a fantastic day. We enjoyed out visit to the Grand Canyon floor as well as your experience and knowledge of the area. Your knowledge of rock formations was enlightening to us. We will seek you out and tell all our friends to seek you out as well. Thanks for everything.

Darrell and Texanna, Clarksburg, MD, 3/21/12

Joe, your narration on the Apache Indians and Cochise is absolutely outstanding! Please make a recording of it. It tells the true story that, as you said, is not given in school. The story of Sedona and her family is also first rate and should be saved for posterity. Thank you very much- you gave us a very memorable excursion!

Rod and Judy, Rockledge, FL 7/19/11

Hey Joe,  Norm and I just wanted to thank you again for the incredible day we spent with you learning about rock formations and Indian history while we journeyed to the Grand Canyon and put our feet in the Colorado River!! We’re still talking about it. Loved the ice cream stop in Seligman, too. You’re the greatest tour guide ever!

Best regards, Marsha, Las Vegas, NV 7/16/11

Joe- whenever I think or talk about the Grand Canyon your name will be said in the same breath. Your love and knowledge is infectious and your stories were spellbinding. THANK YOU!!

Nancy and Russ, Deer Park Long Island, NY 7/12/11

Joe, thank you for sharing your passion! It made for a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Keep changing lives each day.

Forever grateful, Danielle and Robyn 7/7/11

Joe,  we really enjoyed our tour to the Grand Canyon this past Wednesday,  July 6,2011. Your knowledge of the geology of the rock formations and the history of Sedona,  The Grand Canyon,  and the Apache Indians was remarkable and commendable. I particularly enjoyed the story about the Apache Indians. Keep up the great work. You do a tremendous job!!

Sincerely, Tim and Oti 7/6/11

What an incredible day! A day back in time that touched our hearts, senses, and soul. Bless you!

Judy and Keith, Bloomington, IN 6/14/11

This was an absolutely super trip- It wasn’t just a tour, it was a walk through history. Not only the history of the planet earth, but also a history of the of the Indian tribes of this area.  Joe’s story of the Apache was beyond words, and the story of Sedona was wonderful. Just a super day!

John and Patty 6/7/11

Thank you for a perfect day in God’s Country. Loved your stories and education of this country- it was a blast– thanks for such a special day!! I will always remember.

Sharie, Payson, UT 5/3/11

Great trip! Best tour trip and guide we have ever had. Keep up the enthusiasm and great stories.

Bobbie and Suzanne, Ottawa, Canada 4/5/11

Very interesting- fantastic storyteller!! Thanks for creating a memorable trip to the Colorado River.

Edie and Ron, Redding MN 4/5/11

Well Joe, that was a great day! Personal chauffeur service;  awesome ending commentary and unbelievable detail on the geological uniqueness of Sedona,  Oak Creek,  and,  of course, the Grand Canyon. Obviously you have a deep passion and profound love of your home territory. The “story time” history lesson of the native abuse by the Spanish,  whites, and prospectors was spellbinding, and, as you said, “Why was I never told this in school!!”  Thanks again and God bless you.

Bob and Cathy, Vancouver, BC 3/30/11

We thoroughly enjoyed Joe’s history stories! Most interesting and knowledgeable guide. Thank you!

Bob and Andreana, Rancho Cucmonga, CA 2/22/11

We enjoyed the day very much. I’m awed at the amount of information you were able to share with us!

Bill and Shirley 2/2211

Just excellent in so many ways. I loved the stories and geological information. I had planned to read and do a crossword, but the scenery and dialogue was way too absorbing. Best wishes!

Virginia 2/22/11

Great tour guide and storyteller- I admire your passion.

Gerry, Kirkland, WA 2/22/11

An unforgettable and one-of-a-kind tour to one of our favorite places- the Grand Canyon. Thank you for sharing your passion for Sedona, northern Arizona, and Native American culture and history and geology! Thank you for your history and stories.

Gary and Linda 2/15/11

You are a living book of beautiful facts and knowledge. This was the highlight of our trip. May you share for many years to come. God bless.

Ron and Karen 2/15/11

Thank you for a most memorable day! Loved your knowledge of geology and history of the area.

Tim and Joanne, West Hills, CA 2/3/11

Thank you for sharing your passion! I love to be with people what are excited about what they do. If you enjoy your work- it isn’t work at all. It is an enjoyable life.

Tim and Rhonda, Cape Coral, Fl 2/1/11

Wonderful day, great scenery and company and food- and we loved the stories! You have a gift. Thank you.

Maureen and Fred, Toronto, Ontario 2/1/11

Thanks for the great tour and all the interesting facts and stories. It is a special memory.

Dale and Amy, 127/11

You made our day special with all the many facts and stories. Thanks, Joe.

Dave and Ann, Toledo, OH 1/27/11

Wonderful day. Loved all your stories of the area and were impressed with your geological knowledge. You made the trip worthwhile!

Rob (geologist) and Eileen, Calgary, Alberta 1/25/11

Thanks for a great day. The stories were wonderful!

David and Karen, Auburn, WA 1/18/11

Wow!! Who knew the rocks could tell you so much!

Jeannine and Richard, Rainier, Alberta, Canada 1/13/11

You are a guide who is wise, free spirited, with a great sense of humor. Thanks for the wonderful stories!

Judy and Wes, Union, WA 1/13/11

Thanks for a special day we will indeed remember for a long, long time!

Petr, Maryland 1/11/11

You were fantastic! We enjoyed learning so much about the geology of the area and hearing your great stories. Thank you!

Fran and Bill, Salida, CO 1/11/11

What a marvelous guide!!

Danita, Hillsborough, NC 1/6/11

Your tour was spectacular…informative, insightful and instructive. I have learned so much about the Hopi and the geology of Arizona. Thank you.

Sonya, Howard University, 12/27/10

Thank you for a wonderful tour of Hopi Mesas and the best geological survey anyone could have of the Sedona region. I learned more history about Native Americans in the Southwest than I ever learned in school. Keep up the good work!

Jeanne and Macain 12/27/10

Outstanding Day, well worth the time! Amazing views along with area history.

Gary and Steph, Gurnet, IL 12/21/10

This has been great and all the info so much fun. I now understand the four kinds of volcanos!

Lynn and Mark, Las Vegas, NV 12/7/10

Best tour ever! Can’t imagine any could be better. Thank you so very much.

Susie and Roy 12/2/10

What a wonderful tour you have given us- we truly enjoyed. Thank you for sharing your talent.

Becky, Ville Platte, LA 12/2/10

Joe- This was one of the best tours I have been on! You are so well informed on the geology of the area, as well as the history of Sedona. You made this trip memorable in a very good way.

Carol, San Diego, CA 11/23/10

Wow! What a huge amount of knowledge about the geology and the area. Thank you for sharing it with our family. We’ll be sure to recommend this tour to others.

Jennifer, Nicholas, and Calvin, Stratford, Ontario, Canada 11/23/10

Thank you!!! One of life’s special people- the maker of a magical day. Wonderful energy, heartfelt storytelling, made me love geology, too! You do not need to feel the vortexes- you carry your own energy! Be well!

Heather, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 11/9/10

Phenomenal tour. Your storytelling was captivating and your command of the geology of the area was truly mesmerizing. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us!

Gale and Tom, Chicago, IL 11/9/10

This tour was one of the best we have ever been on! And it was because of you! Your knowledge and enthusiasm was great! Thank you for sharing your talents!

Steve, Diana, and Jim, Bloomington, MN 11/9/10

Joe, thank you so much for the most memorable day Suzy and I have ever spent in Arizona. The history, geology and your narration will not soon be forgotten.

Bob and Suzy, 11/2/10

Joe, thank you so much for a wonderful day. The history and geology lesson was so informative. Rick and I learned so much from you. We really appreciate and will remember this day for years to come. Thank you again!

Rick and Caren, West Chester, OH, 10/27/10

Thank you for the history and geology of this gorgeous place. I doubt that we have ever had such a knowledgeable guide! We appreciate this memorable day.

Lois and Gary, 10/27/10

We so appreciated and enjoyed your sharing your wisdom about this beautiful country. And we felt a lot of warmth from you. Thank you!

Gloria, Vancouver, WA 10/22/10

What a wonderful day with you!! You are so knowledgeable and quite the storyteller. I do hope our paths cross again. Come to PA and tell me about my rocks. Love..

Carolyn, Loganton, PA 10/22/10

What a day. Great scenery, learned much about geology- it was presented so well I was able to enjoy the lessons. Storytelling was fabulous! Day was relaxed throughout. Good luck alwasy. Come see us in NSB.

Kathy and Rick, New Smyrna Beach, FL 10/19/10

So sorry our daughter and her husband missed this extremely educational trip, with educated geology, and learning the dreadful history the white people put our Indians through. Thank you so much!!!

The Dunkelbergers, Auburn, AL, 10/14/10

What a great tour! Joe, your knowledge of the Canyon is awesome!

Carolyn and Lenwood, Mechanicsville, VA 10/12/10

Joe, you are incredibly knowledgeable and an amazing storyteller! I learned so much today. I am so grateful to you for having me along!

Amy, Sedona, AZ 10/7/10

Hey Joe, great tour! Best Native American and settler history lesson I’ve ever had concerning the Apache-US war and such. You rock!! P.S. The geology was incredible, too!

Chad, Sedona, AZ 10/7/10

What a wonderful day you gave us. The whole adventure was way beyond our expectations. Thank you…thank you…thank you!

Clint and Sara, Lake Leelanau, MI 9/28/10

A rare experience never to be forgotten. Words aren’t enough to describe what was seen. It definitely was made into an unforgetable day with you as our guide. Your knowledge is amazing and addictive! Thanx!

David and Dale, Roselle Park, NJ 9/15/10

An experience we will never forget. Your stories and knowledge of the history of the area has brought our hearts and our souls closer to this great state of Arizona. Thank you very much!

Mary Ann and Vincenzo, Wethers Field, CT 9/14/10

One of the most fantastic days of my life. Thank you.

Tracey, Magnolia, TX 9/7/10

Enjoyed the trip, the great information! Joe really knows his stuff!!

Bea, Goochland, VA 9/7/10

Thank you for the story of the Apaches and everything else. Great trip!!

Roy and Mary, Apple Valley, CA 9/7/10

Great narration of history and geology of this most beautiful– really spectacular area. It was a fun and educational day. Thanks so much!!

Diane and Bob, Bell Canyon, CA 8/31/10

This was one of the best tours I’ve ever been on in my life. Thank you for everything!

Judy, NYC, 8/24/10

Thanks for the awesome trip! This was the best!!

Ray, Teresa, Ashley & Lauren, San Marino, CA, 8/21/10

Joe- thanks for a spectacular day! What a captivating storyteller; you are the “Garrison Keillor of Sedona”! Thank you!!

Janet & Dan, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 8/21/10

It was great- one of my best trips in my life- Thank you very much, Joe.

Aldrea ,Germany, 8/17/10

You have made this one of the most wonderful trips we have ever had!

Kathy  and Tom, OH 8/17/10

Joe, our tour was great!!!! Thanks!!! If you want an expert tour get Joe!!

Roger 8/13/10


Great trip, lots of wildlife seen and never a dull moment with all the stories and history…Thanks!

Cindy and Rob Zampa, Cochrane, Alberta, Canada 8/3/10

A day we will never forget as we learned so much about the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and the history of Arizona. You are a wonderful teacher!

Joe and Mary Jo Fisher, Pleasaton, CA 7/27/10


Thanks for the tour through the Hualapai Indian Reservation down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We loved the stop on Route 66, the ice cream and pictures with James Dean, Elvis, and Marilyn Monroe. The best part was your knowledge of the rock formations and the history of Sedona. Being able to step into the Colorado River, eat lunch and explore was great; made it a journey we will never forget. Thanks for being such a great guide! Your stories of Sedona and the rest of those who founded Sedona piqued my curiosity to the point that I bought a book on the history of the area in order to learn more.

Terry Farrar, Bay City, TX 7/27/10

Thanks for a great trip! We enjoyed your wonderful stories!

Diane Farrar, Bay City, TX 7/27/10

Hi Joe,

Many thanks for a lovely day! We very much enjoyed our tour with you! Your passion for geology and your interest in educating us and providing us with a high quality experience were very evident… The scenery is both inspiring and breathtaking and yet at the same time can be incredibly peaceful. I also very much enjoyed your stories on the way home from the canyon – Michael told me afterward that he particularly liked hearing about the Apache indians and Geronimo. We will look you up when we are back in Sedona next time!


Linda, Andy, and Michael 7/20/10

Thank you for your courtesy, expertise and companionship. A great and highly memorable day. …A great time, we passed your name around to friends and family in case they ever get to Sedona.

All the best, Susan and Lee  7/17/10


We wanted to add our comments to your testimonials; every one expresses our own enthusiasm with this experience. We signed up for a Jeep tour expecting to see some interesting back country and maybe get a little history of the area, but never expected to receive the Royal Treatment. For all you who are thinking of going to Sedona, you have not even scratched the surface until you go on Joe’s tour! He is an unabridged encyclopedia of fascinating knowledge, from Indian medicines, culture, lore and history, to geology, to American southwest history, science, and so many more subjects, all told in a captivating story superior to oracles of any age. The Jeep tour was excellent, but the finest part was being mesmerized by Joe’s stories, woven together and transported back in time until I was practically hearing dinosaurs and Apaches in the brush, and thinking that perhaps I might go up and visit with the settlers this evening. This dusty, common-looking man is NOT common. I have spent many years in university classrooms and have never been as mesmerized as when I sat bumping along over rocks in Joe’s old Jeep. Don’t go to Sedona unless you see him. Thanks, Joe! We’ll be back for Chapter 2!
Bill and Mayra
Las Vegas, NV

It is great to be entertained and have a good time but it is even better when you learn new things at the same time.  That  was a lot of learning today, I hope I remember a lot of it.  The lunch was great but oh, that choc. malt was great too. It was a great  group.  Thanks for the wonderful day… It was a great day and I learned so much from you.  I come up to Sedona Pines often and also to Los Abrigados and have thought of taking your trip several times.  I’m so glad I did. Thanks again.

Davette 6/22/10

Joe..first of all I wanna say thanks for your replies to my emails no matter how busy you are! It’s not really that easy trying to find a good touring company on the internet for a place that we haven’t been before!! Unanswered emails..etc etc.. Anyway…I’ll call you sometime next week to see if we can schedule a Grand Canyon tour on Tuesday Sept 14..and the Lower Antelope Canyon on Thursday the 16th of September! Just be ready for my strong Italian accent! Have a great weekend!!

Vincenzo 5/23/10

We (my wife and I) were on a Sedona tour with Joe! He provided the best talking tour we’ve ever enjoyed. He covered the geology of the area, especially of the formations we were seeing. He also added a course in botany and zoology! His presentation on the history of Sedona and its founders was “right on”. He wrapped up our trip with the history of Indians in the area that was excellent. A most enjoyable trip!
We then set up a Grand Canyon trip with him. He picked us up in Flagstaff, and continued with the rich commentary all the way back. His grasp of the geology of the area and the canyon attracted many “observers” along the way. He had a complete grasp of what we were seeing, and was constantly adding “color” by interjecting stories about the explorers, residents, and visitors to the areas we visited. It was by far the most insightful two days that we had ever booked! Thanks for making our experiences so special!
Tom and Nancy Heilman 4/10/10

My wife and I recently took (a) tour to the Grand Canyon with Joe Holman and we thoroughly enjoyed the entire tour. My wife and I have lived and traveled all over the world and this tour was the best and most informative one that we have ever had. Joe’s geological and historical knowledge was impressive and the service was excellent. I’ll also be sure to recommend that they see if they can get one of Joe’s tours because he does such a great job.

All the best, Aubrey Dobbs and Jackie Black

I should also note that Joe gave us several other route recommendations for trips in the area and on our return to the Las Vegas area for departure. All trips turned out great and we would not have known about them except for his input.

Regards,  Aubrey Dobbs and Jackie Black

I had the great pleasure of being guided by Joe Holman of Arizona Rocks Tours.  His Grand Canyon tour was excellent. His knowledge of Sedona, and the volcanoes around Flagstaff is tremendous. His ability to explain the geology and history of the Grand Canyon made my trip fantastic. Thanks, Joe, for a great and educational time.

Randy Woodman, NYC

100% 2 Thumbs Way Up on my recent Tour of Sedona with Joe. His knowledge of local area history, and geology, accompanied by his great story telling, made my afternoon with him an absolute pleasure. When you want something a little more personal than what the other local tour companies can offer Joe is your man!

Cris Mitchell

Pismo Beach, Ca.

My family took a tour of the Verde River with Joe in August. Wow, what a wealth of knowledge. It was a treat to take a tour with someone who really knows his stuff and even makes rocks seem interesting! I was a geology major in college and his tour made me want to exhume my old text books. I only wish we had used Joe as our tour guide when we were in the Grand Canyon. It would have been so much more interesting and informative. I guess that is a reason to return!

Jody Schoen

WOW! What a treasure trove of information! Your knowledge of the history is awesome. It actually makes me want to know more about the history of where I’m from (Kansas). Next time I’m in the Sedona area I’ll be calling to book a tour.
THANKS for sharing…

Irene Doll

You should look at starting your own touring company – your knowledge and presentation are second to none!

Perry Klecak

Grand Canyon tour with Joe Holman was marvelous. He was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Thank you!!


Thank you, Joe! I loved that bracelet but have noticed even more since I have been on the look-out. Thanks for bringing Fred Harvey to my attention. All your advice for shops, dining etc. was great – our motto was “we love that Joe”! It was a big help and our trip was even more awesome because of your tips.

My best to you, Kathleen

Our tours last Monday and Wednesday were fabulous!  The Grand Canyon was incredible – Ryan and Joe were wonderful. Joe’s ability to help with the different levels and types of rock was amazing, we loved all his information. And, what a wonderful story teller.  He helped us learn more about the Native Americans and we are very grateful.  It was a very important time during our vacation – we are sending all out thanks.

When we stopped at Cameron, Joe showed me the Fred Harvey bracelets.  I loved one particular one with inlaid turquoise. Joe mentioned the design and I have forgotten what he called it. I am at a loss.  Also, I have a great picture of the four of us that I have attached to this email.

Gratefully, Kathleen P. and Cathy S.

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